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Category Archives: Sunday Cinema

Documentaries and Murder, What’s Not to Like?

It’s either Wrist to Forehead Sunday or Sunday Cinema, and I choose the latter.

We started out with A North Woods Elegy: Incident at Big Moose Lake, a documentary about the murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gilette in 1906.  Steven got it for me at the Herkimer County Historical Society a couple of years ago.  I love local history.

The fellow that wrote this was one of the commentators.

I could not find a photo from the actual DVD, so I include one of some of the source material. I have this plus a couple other books about the case.  I am hoping to acquire Chester Gilette’s diary sometime.  I checked it out of Basloe Library in Hekimer once and read it, but I think it would be a good addition to my collection.

After Elegy, I was in the mood for another documentary, so I suggested the only other one we have on DVD, Curse of the Blair Witch (1999), which is one of the extra features on the Blair Witch Project DVD.  We did not go on to watch The Blair Witch Project, as we usually do, because Steven was not in the Halloween mood (as I almost always am).

I’m going to start saving sticks that fall off the trees in my yard and tie them together in figures for Halloween decorations.

Yes, every time I watch The Blair Witch Project, I say, “Why don’t they just follow the stream?”  I still find it entertaining, and I admire the alternate narrative technique.

We continued the documentary theme of the day with a couple episodes of Snapped, which Steven fixed us some yummy BLTs on Heidelberg Bread, made right here in Herkimer, NY.  I do loves me some Snapped on a Sunday.

 

 

It wouldn’t be Sunday without at least one episode.

Steven was more in the mood for a movie, so I suggested Laura (1944), one of my perennial favorites.  It is a break from documentaries, but I felt in the mood to see it again.  Vincent Price as a suave leading man type, Judith Anderson as one of my favorite characters, a stylish noir.  I’m enjoying it.

One of my favorite couples.

And now I have missed a portion of the movie while making this blog post.  No matter.  It is one we pop in often, and blog posts must be made.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

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Haunted by Eve, I Snapped on Wrist to Forehead Sunday

Ah, Sunday, what a day.  I have traditionally said there is no point in trying to get anything done on a Sunday, hence, my Wrist to Forehead Sunday and Sunday Cinema features.  Today is no different.  In fact, I am trying to make my post after only two movies.  Wait a minute, I think I did that last week. I am not motivated to go back and check.  Did I mention that Sunday is a low motivation day for me?  I think I did.

They are on the look-out for ghostly phenomena!

We started out our movie viewing with The Haunting (1963).  I had been thinking of it because somebody mentioned it on one of my horror movie pages on Facebook.  I have always held it up as an example of how scary a movie can be with just sound effects and acting.  On this viewing I noticed how dated it was in one respect:  the head ghost-hunting guy had to be sensitive to how people might look askance at his activities.  His wife begs him to come home and stop making a fool of himself.  These days he would have his own reality show!  Then again, some people consider these reality shows a little foolish.  The subject is too deep for me to get into now!

The couple of the moment.

After The Haunting, we went to All About Eve (1950), one of my all-time favorites.  It is arguably the role Bette Davis was born to play.  Would anybody like to argue the point?  Please comment below.

Now I am looking at Snapped, because I cannot think of another movie to go to.  What’s that all about?  I suppose it doesn’t matter.  I am over 250 words, respectable enough for a blog post.  In the coming week, perhaps I will work on becoming more that merely respectable. Will I succeed?  A little uncertainty lends interest to my week.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

Every Sunday and any other day I can find it!

 

Wrist to Forehead Cinema?

Full disclosure:  I had some Mohawk Valley adventures on Saturday that I could have written about.  But I wanted to to a Sunday Cinema post so we started watching movies.  Unfortunately, we are only on the second movie of the day and I want to make my post before it gets any later (when one gets up for work at 3 a.m., it gets late early).

Tippi, watch out!

We started out with Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, one of our favorites.  I won’t say it is a cinematographic masterpiece, but it is highly entertaining with excellent effects, especially for the time.  I’ve named a character Annie in my next murder mystery, after Annie Hayworth, the school teacher, because she is such a door mat.

That awkward moment…

We debated quite a bit during The Birds as to what we would watch next. I always like to have a connection between movies.  I thought of going from The Birds to Birdcage, but I wanted something darker. I thought of The Postman Always Rings Twice, which kind of has a connection because it features Hume Cronyn, who was married to Jessica Tandy, who is in The Birds.  Come to think of it, on that basis, we could have gone to Rope, which in addition to being written by Cronyn, is another Hitchcock movie.  But we have seen Postman and Rope recently.  Moreover, I like to drink champagne when I watch Rope, and I was drinking Barefoot Pinot Noir.  At last we settled on Sudden Fear.  It does not connect with The Birds, but it is film noir, which goes nicely with pinot noir.  Joan Crawford, there could be no possible objection.

As we watched Sudden Fear, we realized our television was getting quieter and quieter.  Sometimes it does that and we do not know why.  It goes back to a normal volume when we look at regular TV, so now we are looking at Snapped, my usual Sunday treat.  If you are wondering about my headline, well, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday for a number of reasons.  As you have seen, I had some heartburnings selecting our second feature.  Additionally, I am somewhat mortified in trying to have a Sunday Cinema post on only two features.  Well, you’ll have these things when you read a silly blog like mine.  I hope to write about my Mohawk Valley adventures in coming days.  As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.

I do loves me some Snapped.

 

A Cinematic Pause in Christmas Preparations

I had hoped to do a Sunday Running Commentary, even went for a run this morning, but then I spent some time with Christmas mixing and fixing, then some time having a couple of drinks and relaxing, watching Christmas movies, so now I’m here ready to do a Sunday Cinema as usual (was that a run-on sentence?  I don’t care if it is and I am too lazy to check in any case).  At least we watched some seasonal movies, so there’s that.

Isn’t it romantic?

My main thing was, I did not feel like crying, so no It’s a Wonderful Life, no Homecoming, and not just any Christmas Carol.  When Steven suggested Christmas in Connecticut, I thought that sounded perfect.  Just a sweet love story involving people pretending to be something they’re not (that’s not giving away any important plot points, it’s part of the set-up).

After that I suggested the fun version of A Christmas Carol with Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Jacob Marley reminded me a little bit of the butler in And Then There Were None, but Steven told it was Leo G. Carroll, who used to be in The Man From Uncle.

After that one, I was wishing we had a Christmas murder mystery, when I remembered, just before Steven suggested, Hercule Poiroit’s Christmas, an episode of the Poirot television series starting David Suchet.  I had read the book this was based on many times before seeing the movie.  I have a number of problems with the adaptation, but it’s a fun watch, and, David Suchet, there could be no possible objection.

Yet another excellent Poirot.

Poirot is an fun character for an actor to portray (or so I would think, having never had the opportunity to play him), and Suchet does an excellent job.  I have also enjoyed Albert Finney’s and Peter Ustinov’s interpretation of the part.  I need to check out Kenneth Branaugh’s Poirot, but that’s a whole other blog post.

In the meantime, it’s Christmas Eve Eve.  I need to get back to my tv-watching, crocheting portion of the evening.  For one thing, I need to recruit my energies for tomorrow.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

On to the Christmas Videos!

I don’t know how good of a Sunday Cinema post this will be, since we only saw one actual movie.  Still, I think I can share a couple of pictures and say a few things that may entertain someone, even if it’s only me.

We started by looking at TCM, where this guy was talking on and on, and I did not pay much attention.  Eventually they got to the movie, which was Crack-Up (1946).  I said, “Don’t we have this?”  Steven thought not.

“I think I’ve seen it.  I must have DVR’d it.”  I used to DVR a lot more movies from TCM, and write blog posts about them.  I must begin doing that again.  However, I cannot do that with Crack-Up, because it turns out I already did, in 2013, in a post called, “Good Job, Leonard!

This is Claire Trevor, who plays the love interest, although she gets to do a few brave, useful things.

The other reason I cannot write much about Crack-Up is that I did not pay too much attention to it.  I know, I often do not pay a great deal of attention to these things, but I was quite delinquent in that respect today.  After the movie, I found Forensic Files, although I was really more in the mood for Snapped.  Steven wanted something more joyful, so he bestirred himself to go up to the attic and bring down some of our Christmas movies.  Soon we were delighting in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Boris Karloff is the only Grinch for me. All others need not apply.

Next Steven chose Christmas Unwrapped, a VHS tape of a special that aired on the History Channel many years ago (at least, I don’t know how many, but it’s a VHS tape, so it must be quite a few, anyways).

Santa by artist Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly.

I tried to take a picture of the video cover with my Tablet, but it did not turn out well.  However, this is the Santa Claus that graces said cover.  I do love an old fashioned St. Nick.

After Christmas Unwrapped, I got to watch part of  Snapped episode.  Then I didn’t like the episode that was on next, so I put it on COPS while I made my blog post and Steven did the dishes.  Now Steven is deciding what to watch next while I am over 400 words.  Woohoo, that’s long for a Sunday post!  I wonder if he would like to watch that holiday classic, Die Hard.

PS.  He went another way and chose The Homecoming.

 

 

Watch Out for the Women on Cinema Sunday

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Cinema.  We got a later than usual start on the movie watching portion of our day so are only on our second movie.  I may have to pad this post with some remarks about the late lunch I made.  For one reason, I was making it during most of the first movie. Luckily, it was one I have seen before, The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946).

They are a steamy couple, yes.

Steven got the idea to watch this movie, because it was referenced on a short feature about film noir on TCM this morning.  Lana Turner certainly is a femme fatale, but she is far less evil than, for example, Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity (1944). Also, Turner seems to truly love Garfield, as opposed to just using him to get rid of an unwanted husband (although of course she does want to get rid of her husband; what femme fatale worth her salt doesn’t?).

A little less steamy, a lot more evil. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Maybe we should watch Double Indemnity next, if we decide to go for a third movie instead of switching over to Snapped, which used to be our Sunday afternoon staple (speaking of evil females).  Right now we are enjoying Sunset Boulevard, a rather atmospheric Gothic.

She is magnificent in the part.

I read Gloria Swanson’s autobiography.  I think it is funny she is so well known for playing this psychotic has-been, obsessing over her past career, when in reality, Swanson was a vibrantly alive woman, always looking for the next challenge.  I guess my take-away from today’s movies is I shall follow the lead not of the femme fatale nor the psychotic has-been, but of the real life Gloria Swanson.  What is the next challenge?  I guess to make a better blog post.  I’ll work on that tomorrow.

In the meantime, I haven’t even mentioned the meal I fixed earlier.  Oh, I guess it wasn’t such a much.  I made mini meatballs using some ground beef, Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic and spices.  While they baked, I grated mozzarella cheese.  Then I made a flat bread pizza with Dom Peppino’s Pizza Sauce (that’s is what my Mom and Dad use on their Christmas Eve pizza), canned mushrooms, and of course the meatballs and mozzarella.  It was quite delicious.

We are having a rather enjoyable Sunday, whether we go on to see another movie or tune in to Snapped.  I can only hope my good mood lasts till Monday.

 

Ready for the Sweats and the Wine

I can’t have Sunday Cinema; I’ve only watched two movies so far and I’m on to Snapped.  I suppose I could watch a third movie and then post, but I want to get this done.  As  I mentioned yesterday, I have knitting to do.  I also want to get back into my sweats.  Well, that is silly of me; I could put the sweats on and then make the post.  No, make the post now before I talk myself out of it.

Some might advise me to stop being a daily blogger if it is such a chore.  I would argue (if I was any good at argument, which I am not) that some things are worth doing even if they are a chore.  They would no doubt reply (I told you I was no good at argument) that most of my posts are probably not worth the effort.  I advise them to seek out more worthy blogs and to leave me alone.  Yes, I have numerous arguments with imaginary critics.

As you may have guessed, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday.

Sometimes I feel like this when I try to sleep.

Earlier, before I was ready to swoon on the chaise and was actually having a pretty good day, we watched The Tingler (1959), produced and directed by William Castle and starring Vincent Price.  I LOOOOVE William Castle movies!  I do not have enough of them on DVD.

She has got his number!

After The Tingler, Steven suggested His Girl Friday (1941).  Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant, snappy dialogue, a fast moving script, it was an excellent suggestion.  I missed parts of it while I fixed us something to eat then made my salad for the week’s lunches, but I have seen it many times before and will no doubt watch it again.

After the movie, I wrote some post cards and walked to the post office with them.  I felt quite virtuous doing this, since I had gone for a long (for me) run this morning.  Come December, I will OWN that Reindeer Run 5K.  And by “own” of course I mean shuffle along toward the back of the pack and enjoy myself.

So I am feeling moderately less wrist-to-foreheady since I see I am over 350 words and I don’t feel this is too heinous of a post.  I think I deserve to put on my sweats and maybe have a glass of wine.  Happy Sunday, everyone.